Man on Wire came out on DVD a few weeks ago, and it is the best documentary I've ever seen. Forgive the hyperbole, but seriously it is. I've been trying to think of a documentary I liked more than this, but I can't think of one. I almost did this as an Under the Radar post, but this movie has gotten a lot of attention, so I figure most everyone has heard of it.
It is the story of Philippe Petit, a French high-wire walker, who walked across the World Trade Center towers in 1974. It tells the story of this walk from beginning to end. He started planning the walk before the towers were even built. He was sitting in a dentist office with a terrible toothache and was flipping through a magazine and saw an article about the towers being built. He decided right then he had to walk between them. He ripped the page out of the magazine, left the dentist office without his tooth getting fixed, and started planning. He says one of the best lines I've ever heard "what is the pain now that I have acquired my dream?"
The movie has a lot of old footage of him practicing and meeting with his friends who are going to help him run the cable. It's as if he knew there was going to be a documentary made of it. A lot of the movie is reinactments too. The story is incredible, especially when they get to New York. The things they did to get access to the towers is amazing. There are also a lot of interviews with everyone who was part of the team that helped him walk between the towers. Most of the people being interviewed speak French, so there are some subtitles, so if you're a big subtitle baby you'll have to deal with it.
The whole movie is put together brilliantly. The mixing of old footage, interviews, and reinactments is done perfectly. And best of all is Philippe Petit himself. You feel the passion he feels, and he is just one of those funny, eccentric, totally animated people who just love what they do.
Watch it peeps. I highly recommend it.